On Thursday morning a slew of top-notch actors, producers and directors flew to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The delegation included actors Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra, Vicky Kaushal, Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Rajkummar Rao, producers Ekta Kapoor, Karan Johar and Mahaveer Jain and directors Ashwini Iyer Tiwari and Rohit Shetty.
The agenda was more freewheeling than specific. And the mood was buoyant. The delegates who can’t stop singing the PM’s praise says “nothing specific” was discussed. Producer Mahaveer Jain who initiated the move to meet the PM reveals all the details. “Getting the new breed of prominent actors and filmmakers to meet PM Modi Saab was an idea initiated by me and Karan Johar. It took me no time to convince the delegation to pay this historic flying-visit to Delhi. It took me about twenty days to get an appointment with the PM for this historic meeting.”
Jain says the effort was all worth it. “This meeting is just the beginning for our film industry to get more proactive in the process of nation-building. The PM very graciously told the delegation how much of a change and progress they can bring to the nation. We wanted the Prime Minster to meet the younger generation of Bollywood stars. The Prime Minister made us feel most comfortable and welcome. He had a brief exchange with each of us, with an accompanying smile and he wanted us, the entertainment industry, to feel a part of the process of the nation’s growth and development. It was very satisfying get-to-know-you meeting and it went off wonderfully,” says Jain.
Would he say it was a fulfilling meeting? “Very very fulfilling. Varun, Ayushman, Ranbir Alia…all of them felt very comfortable in Modi Saab’s company. Believe me; our entertainment industry has a tremendous amount to give to the nation. As the PM pointed out to them, these stars are role models. They’ve the power to influence the youth. I am surprised that this meeting didn’t happen earlier. But now the process has started. We will be interacting extensively with the Government. And there is no stopping us. We (the film industry) are going to be taken seriously by the Government.”